The Trump administration defended its decision Wednesday to sharply curtail the number of refugees allowed into the US to 45,000 next year, even as global humanitarian groups decried the move and called the number far too low. The 45,000 cap, to be formally announced by President Trump in the coming days, reflects the maximum the US will admit during the fiscal year that starts Sunday, although the actual number allowed could be far lower, the AP reports. Even if the cap is ultimately hit, it would reflect the lowest admissions level for the US in more than a decade.
Lowering the cap reflects Trump's opposition to accepting refugees and other immigrants into the US, an approach that has already driven down refugee admissions. President Obama had wanted to take in 110,000 in 2017, but the pace slowed dramatically after Trump took office and issued an executive order addressing refugees. The total admitted in the fiscal year that ends Sunday is expected to be around 54,000, officials said. In 2016, the last full year of Obama's administration, the US welcomed 84,995 refugees. (Read more refugees stories.)